Waheguruji ka Khalsa Waheguruji Ki Fateh
Sikh community is passing through a very turbulent phase. Sikhs are neither aware of proud Sikh history, nor are they aware of basic Sikh concepts. That’s why we find a large chunk of the population moving away from Sikhi. Instead, we found ourselves completely engulfed in the Brahmanical practices.
I always used to think of the reasons behind this. How come Sikhs started following all those rituals which are clearly rejected by Gurbani? One answer that we often hear in our casual group discussions is that our so called religious leaders (priest class) are least interested in spreading the true message of the Guru, but are more interested in identifying ways to increase the size of ‘golak.’ So next question arises – Then why do Sikhs follow these pujaris? The only answer left is – Sikhs do not invest time in self study. Whereas we were clearly instructed to get in direct touch with ‘Shabad Guru’ without any mediator – ‘sab sikhan ko hukam hai, guru manio granth’.
The decadence in our society can be judged from one simple observation: If we go back 40-50yrs, children used to listen to the stories on Sikh history from their parents. The next generation, who is now in the adolescent stage, would fondly remember listening to bedtime saakhis from their grand-parents (dada-dadi or nana-nani), regrettably not from their parents. But the new generation is very unfortunate, as neither their parents nor the grand-parents have the knowledge base that they can download to their kids. This serious concern always keeps bothering the well-wishers of the Sikh Panth.
Does it take a big effort telling stories to kids from the chapters of Sikh history? One can purchase good story books from the market, then simply read 1-2 stories for children during bedtime. It can be simple with little effort to spend 15-30 min with children daily, and try to answer their innocent questions. But it’s a bitter fact that books on Sikh history and literature are not readily available in our homes or shelves. And even if they are available, they are not read. Reason remains the same – Sikhs do not invest time in self study.
I strongly believe, there’s no substitute of self study. But, can we fill the gap to some extent with the help of modern-day technology? While pondering on these questions, idea of ‘Saakhi’ came to existence. Waheguru Ji blessed me with the effort to prepare a mobile application on Sikh history and ideology. This was further extended to youtube channel.
'Saakhi- Sikh History & Gurmat' is one of the first mobile application where stories are presented in audio and video format, not in written form. It contains short stories with average length of 4-6 min only. Users can listen ‘ik saakhi har roz’ along with their children. Each story is ended up with a short message to make the learning relevant in the modern-day times. Section of ‘Sawaal Jawaab’, 'Gurbani Vichaar', 'Sikh Affairs' are also there, that answers frequently asked questions on the Sikh way of life and Gurmat.
A book in both Punjabi and English is also launched to commemorate the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Sahib Ji titled 'Sikh da Ikko Vaeree, Brahmanvaad'- Sole Enemy of a Sikh, Brahmanism. Book is available on amazon, barnes and noble and flipkart.
I Hope these small initiatives will prove useful to promote universal message of Gurbani. Viewers feedback is always required to further enrich the content.
Gurpreet Singh GP